The Shawnee Tribe and the Chickasaw Nation have been working together to build an off reservation casino within the borders of Oklahoma. The tribe is planning to spend $25 million for the construction of Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon, a small city in the Panhandle part of Oklahoma. The Chickasaw subsidiary Global Gaming Solutions will manage the casino if it eventually gets built.
“Before we begin to build the facility we must go through the approval process which consists of several stages,” said the tribe on its Facebook page. “We are currently at the approval stage and hope to move forward with our plans.”
The Shawnee Tribe became popular and gained recognition through a Congress act in 2000. The original law states that the tribe can acquire land to build a casino anywhere in the US state. However, the plans to build a casino in Oklahoma City caused a lot of controversy, therefore, the Congress modified the law. Now the tribe must meet the requirements set by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act before it is given thumbs up to build the casino facility.
The tribe made a similar attempt at the Oklahoma City site in 2010. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected it saying that the tribe didn’t manage to show modern and historical connection to the site located over 190 miles from Miami’s tribal headquarters. In this case, Guymon is over 400 miles away from Miami, so the tribe might face similar hurdles.
On the other hand, the Shawnee Tribe can apply for the casino project under IGRA’s two part determination provisions, which is a rare situation, but not impossible. For instance, the Kaw Nation is known for becoming the first tribe in Oklahoma to complete both steps in 2014.